As a kid, James Bond spent time in his father’s Philadelphia sneaker store, Kicks ‘N Lids. As an adult, he influences sneaker culture worldwide with Undefeated, a small chain of boutiques specializing in limited-edition trainers. Along with partner Eddie Cruz, who owns the L.A. outposts of Stüssy and Union, Bond collaborates with athletes (Kobe Bryant , Allen Iverson) and manufacturers (Adidas, Converse, Reebok) to create small batches of shoes so coveted, lines of fans form outside his stores waiting for their arrival. Affordable Addiction: Pairs go for as low as $40, though reissued Air Jordans can fetch up to $600. “I was never a collector,” claims Bond, whose closet bulges with 400 pairs. “I actually wear the sneakers I buy.” Running with an idea: The billboard above the La Brea Avenue flagship showcases art instead of merchandise. Art stars Raymond Pettibon, Dennis Hopper, and Geoff McFetridge have made pieces for the outdoor “gallery.” The Triumvirate: Undefeated stores are at 112D S. La Brea Ave., L.A., 323-937-6077; 2654B Main St., Santa Monica, 310-399-4195; and 3827 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake, 323-668-1315.
Photograph by Beth Coller